With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…
• From Bloomberg:
"TikTok’s Shop marketplace, the video app’s biggest bet for new revenue growth, has gone live for some users in the US. So far, it’s a showcase for cheap goods from China.
"The social media app’s Shop option, prominently displayed between the For You and Following feeds where users watch videos, presents a never-ending scroll of 'recommended' random products, according to an early version reviewed by Bloomberg, from a $2.99 Nike sweatshirt that appears counterfeit to a $6.99 statue of a 'naughty dwarf' sitting on a toilet. Many of the listings, including a budget planner and a waist-trainer vest, say they’re shipped from China, where TikTok’s parent company ByteDance Ltd. is based. That could reignite US regulatory concerns if it puts user data in the hands of Chinese sellers."
Bloomberg points out that while TikTok has been saying that it wants to create a "community commerce" and develop an "ultra-personalized algorithm" that will be highly relevant to shoppers, there is "no evidence" of this so far. In addition, the overwhelming presence of goods shipped from China could "reignite US regulatory concerns" about user data being accessed by the Chinese government.